More Italians die at the hands of a family member than at the hands of the mafia, according to a survey conducted by Eures (European Employment Services) in conjunction with news agency Ansa.

The total number of murders committed by a family member in 2005 was 174 (29.1 per cent) of all murders compared to 146 murders by the mafia (24.4 per cent).

However, the Eures-Ansa report highlights the fact that the total number of homicides in Italy has decreased by 65 per cent in the last 15 years, dropping from 1,695 in 1990 to 601 in 2005.

Although northern Italy registers the highest rate of murders committed by a family member, southern Italy remains the most dangerous area of Italy, registering 57.6 per cent of all homicides committed in the country in 2005. Campania registers the highest number of murders, with 128 victims. The other most dangerous Italian regions are Sicily (70 victims), Calabria (69), Lombardy (65) and Lazio (46).

Among the Italian cities, Naples emerges as the